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Transport Canada requires adequate liability insurance if you’re using your drone for your business. Transport Canada also advises a person or company must have at least $100,000 liability coverage. Since Transport Canada requires liability insurance for drone usage, flying without coverage could mean fines or penalties.
Am I SFOC-exempt if my drone is under two kilograms?
According to Transport Canada, if you are using your drone for anything besides pleasure, like work or research, you must apply for a Standard Flight Operations Certificate (SFOC).
But if it weighs less than 25 kilograms, Transport Canada says that if you meet the list of excemptions, you are allowed to fly your drone commercially without applying for the permit. There is one list for drones that are between 25 kg and 2 kg, and another list for drones that are under 2 kg.
To put this into perspective, the DJI Phantom 4 weighs about 1.4 kg.
However, those 37 exemptions are so onerous that there are very few people that can actually use them. For example, in order to fly, the pilot has to be nine kilometres from an airport or any built up area.
“If you fire up Google Earth and you put a nine-km circle around every airport, or aerodrome, or float plane base or helicopter pad in Canada; and you put a nine-km circle around any built up area – which is a town, village or even large cluster of buildings – then you discover that you can’t fly anywhere in southern Ontario at all, you can’t fly in much of Alberta, you can’t fly in parts of Saskatchewan,” said Eric Edwards, past chair of Unmanned Systems Canada, and industry representative of many of Transport Canada’s regulatory initiatives, in an interview. “The people who can use these things are either in the far north or rural farmers.”
In terms of insurance, you still need to have a minimum of $100,000 worth of liability insurance on the drone you’re using, even if you meet all of the exemption requirements. As per General Condition 4:
Any person conducting operations under this exemption shall subscribe for liability insurance covering risks of public liability at the levels described in subsection 606.02 (8) of the Canadian Aviation Regulations and in any case shall have no less than $100,000 in liability insurance coverage pertaining to the operation of the UAV system.
We offer discounts on the following liability limits on your commercial drone: